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Coffee and walnut cake

This coffee and nut cake, covered with lashings of bittersweet coffee frosting, is a perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

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For the cake

For the frosting

To serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/365F/Gas 4.

  2. For the cake, beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and well combined. Fold in the flour, walnut pieces and the instant coffee mixture.

  3. Pour the batter into two sandwich tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave both cakes to cool on a wire rack.

  4. For the frosting, gently heat the single cream in a small, heavy-based pan (do not allow to boil). When the cream is warm, stir in the coffee granules until dissolved. Remove from the heat.

  5. Place the butter, icing sugar and warm coffee and cream mixture into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.

  6. To serve, remove the cakes from their tins. Cut off a thin layer from the top of each cake so that they are smooth and flat. Spread just under half of the frosting over one of the cakes and top with the second cake, ensuring the smoothest side is facing up.

  7. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and around the sides of the cake and decorate with the whole walnut pieces. Leave 20 minutes for the frosting to set, then serve in slices.

How-to videos

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How to cream butter by hand

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Testing to see if a cake is cooked